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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

BACK    TO    PARIS    AND    CELEBRITIES
drinks, much to their astonishment and delight.
I had some also, and arrived at the teashop in very
good form. In Paris teashops wine is sold and
generally spirits. It was a very cold day and I told
my cousin and her friend that rum was a very good
thing to prevent people from catching cold. I
ordered them two hot rums, and they were so
pleased that I ordered them two more. They were
quite lively and almost human, and I sent them
back to their dreary pension feeling very happy.
They had a curious existence, these women, they
refused to learn a word of French, and became
furious with the French servants because they could
not understand what they were talking about.
Their whole lives consisted of economizing. They
had apparently no ambitions of any kind. They
had wasted all their youth, having been taught when
young that it was only necessary to behave like
ladies and wait till a suitable, and preferably rich
husband, turned up. Of course, the husband never
did turn up. I often wondered what would become
of them if they were suddenly to lose all their money.
They toured Europe and wintered at Hyeres,
Beaulieu, and Bordighera, where they stayed in
pensions, with elderly Colonels, Generals, and old
women, who were as bored with life and each other
as they were. Everyone that I know has at least
three or four relatives exactly like mine. They re-
minded me of my Grandmother, who, for quite
thirty years, had patiently awaited death. Anyway,
they had given me two pounds and my feelings
towards them were of the kindliest.